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Cyclone Isha: Storm batters UK, Ireland, thousands left without power, trains, flights cancelled

About 230,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Ireland, and 40,000 lacked power in neighboring Northern Ireland. Planes bound for several airports were diverted, including a flight from the Canary Islands to Dublin that ended up in Bordeaux, France.

Reported By: PTI New Delhi Published on: January 22, 2024 22:13 IST
A person views as large waves hit the harbour wall at
Image Source : REUTERS A person views as large waves hit the harbour wall at sunrinse during Storm Isha in Newhaven, southern Britain.

Cyclone Isha: Britain and Ireland were battered with heavy rain, gusty winds of almost 100 miles (160 kilometers) an hour as Cyclone Isha reached its peak. A motorist was killed, tens of thousands of people were without electricity and hundreds of trains were cancelled in the affected areas.

The storm uprooted beeches in Northern Ireland made famous by the “Game of Thrones” and littered roadsides and rail tracks across the country with trees that blocked trains. An 84-year-old man was killed when the car he was riding in struck a fallen tree in Scotland on Sunday night.

A 99-mile-an-hour gust was recorded at Brizlee Wood radar station in northeastern England.

Ireland and the UK have been hammered since fall by a series of gusty and wet storms that have knocked out power and caused flooding along river valleys.

Isha is the ninth named storm since September and a 10th, named Jocelyn by the Irish forecaster Met Eireann, is due to bring more winds and rain on Tuesday and into Wednesday.

The railway operator for Scotland halted train service Sunday night and through most of Monday morning.

Network Rail, which owns the railway infrastructure in England, Scotland and Wales, placed speed limits on most lines to prevent engines from running into debris, disrupting Monday's commute.

Several major roads in Scotland and northern England were shut because of high winds, downed trees or overturned trucks. Chief Superintendent Davy Beck of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said many roads across that region remained impassable Monday morning.

“There is also a continued risk of significant debris on the road network as wind speeds remain high throughout Monday,” he said.

In County Antrim in Northern Ireland, three trees were downed at Dark Hedges, a roadway lined with majestic beech trees with interwoven branches that became a popular tourist destination after being featured as Kingsroad in “Game of Thrones.”

The trees are said to be about 250 years old and are approaching the end of their typical life span. Several others have been knocked down by other storms.

“This is another blow to the Dark Hedges," said Mervyn Storey, chairman of the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust. “In fact, one of the trees that was healthy has been blown down. It is very sad.”

In Huddersfield, outside Leeds in Northern England, an Alpaca shed was blown into the road, the local council warned on X, formerly known as Twitter, “I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!” the Kirklees Council said.

Planes bound for several airports were diverted, including a flight from the Canary Islands to Dublin that ended up in Bordeaux, France.

About 230,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Ireland, and 40,000 lacked power in neighboring Northern Ireland.

The Met Office said the storm was expected to “gradually pull away” through Monday, though it would remain windy.

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